Business issues - a general catchall for all seo business related discussions

Google get's physically bigger

Thread Title: Google buys 30 acres of land Thread Url: Thread Description:

More as I try to research it but for now here is Olivier's from Web Pro News take on it.

According to the Business Journal, Google is planning to pay $1.87 million for 30 acres of industrial land within the Port of The Dalles' Chenoweth Creek Industrial Subdivision.

Google representatives contacted by The Business Journal Thursday morning confirmed that the deal was in the works, but declined to provide more details about why The Dalles was chosen or what type of work would be done at the site.

EU Scraps Patent Bill

Thread Title: EU body scraps software-patent proposal Thread Url: Thread Description:

BRUSSELS In a rare move, the European Parliament on Thursday demanded that a proposal for a Europewide law on software patents be scrapped and the debate started again.

"It is very important to go back to Square One with this directive," said Jerzy Buzek, a member of the European Parliament and the former prime minister of Poland. "It is very necessary to have this directive, but not in the shape proposed by the member states."

Only a temporary victory by the look of it, but a significant one nonetheless...

SMA UK Moving Towards Full Launch

I'll let Barry explain in his own words but from me a simple congratulations and well done to the SMA team.

Quote: The Search Marketing Association – UK is to be officially formed!

We gave ourselves 6 months to achieve the necessary level of interest required to properly form a registered Trade Association and, thanks to the applicants, have reached our target within 4 months!

At a meeting of the Steering Committee held on 15th February it was decided that we should formally proceed with the formation of SMA-UK as an official body.

Now we are officially forming, all Steering Committee members are standing down and elections to the SMA-UK Committee have to take place from the membership. So, I’m delighted to say this is my last message to you as Acting President of the association!

If you haven’t joined yet but keep meaning to do it, please do so soon. Your vote (and participation) is important.

The timetable for elections is as follows:

Nominations for being on the committee must be in by March 31st, 2005. Members can nominate individuals they would like to see on the committee or, of course, nominate themselves.

By April 18th candidates and their biographies plus balloting details will be published online.

On May 2nd the ballot will be closed. The vote will be by single transferable vote administered by the Electoral Reform Society who will give the results by May 9th. At the same time as the 8 committee members are announced a further ballot paper for the positions of President and Vice-President will be published from those committee members willing to go forward for these posi tions. This vote will be completed by 20th May and will be on a “first past the post” voting system with the person with the most votes becoming President and the runner-up Vice President.

The results will be announced at the meeting we plan to have at Search Engine Strategies in London at the beginning of June.

Prior to that meeting we will be: - and the winner is.... New York Times!

Thread Title: New York Times to buy for $410 mln Thread Url: Thread Description:

A week or so ago we reported that was to be put up for auction and that the major search players and NYT were to bid.

the New York Times won, at a cost of $410M

The New York Times Co. on Thursday said it will buy online information portal for $410 million from publisher Primedia Inc. as it looks for new ways to build advertising revenue online.

There will no doubt be much talk and analysis of the buy as the NYT have been struggling with their online business model for some time, as i come across good stuff, i'll post it.

...and i didn't have to look too far. IMO the content commentary doesn't get much better than that found at Paid Content, here's what Rafat had to say:

Make no mistake, it is about search/CPC ad revenues in the short term, first and foremost. Then, of course, the benefits of added traffic over long term. It will be very interesting to see how they execute on the integration of and The phrase "adding an alternate model of content creation and aggregation" is a peculiar way to put it, but it denotes blogs and the whole blog media world, so to speak. In short, this is NYT's blog strategy, on the editorial side. Whether they want to characterize it as such, that I doubt...

There is much more, and it's goooood!

Yahoo to stream live TV

Thread Title: Showtime Comedy on Yahoo Thread Url: Thread Description:

Yahoo are getting into the real tv biz.

More later, but for now....

The first episode of "Fat Actress," a new Showtime comedy series, will be streamed on Yahoo at the same time it debuts on television, the two companies said Wednesday.

Google and VNU do Adwords Deal

Thread Title: Adwords, come get your adwords here Thread Url:,+VNU+in+targeted+ads+deal/2100-1024_3-5578976.html Thread Description:

A huge catch for Google gaining the huge publishers online real estate as home for their Adverts.

Details of the deal are being kept quite but I can imagine VNU getting the lion's share of the income.

As part of the deal, Google's targeted, text-based ads are appearing on the sites of publications including Adweek, Billboard, Hollywood Reporter, National Jeweler, Progressive Grocer and Successful Meetings. European titles covered in the deal include Accountancy Age, Computable, Computing and IT Week, the companies said lands $5M in Venture

Thread Title: Intermix Completes Previously Announced Investment in MySpace Inc Thread Url: Thread Description:

Youth Social Network MySpace $$$'s in on $5M from Redpoint Ventures - as PC say the social network thing is cooling down right now, maybe that'll be the last for a while...

Google's Greatest Threat - Open Source

Thread Title: The Greatest Test of Open Source: Beating Google Thread Url: Thread Description:

Steve Mallet has an interesting, if slightly out there post over at the O'Reilly dev blogs today.

He speculates that Google's greatest threat, or Open Source's greatest challenge could come from a company or consortium that set up shop with Nutch the open source spider software that most of us will have seen in our logs at least once or twice in recent years.

Enter Nutch. Nutch is an open source search engine crawler, indexer, etc. The project appears to have been a bit dormant since its first media splash a few years ago, but has just recently become incubated with the Apache Software Foundation.

As I write this I have Nutch crawling a few sites just to test it out on my own. It's the fifth of my tests. I'm increasing the search depth, and playing with a few of its knobs & buttons. The first few tests worked, but weren't terribly compelling. Not that the Nutch site doesn't give you the straight goods upfront. Their site says, "Nutch has not yet been tuned for quality. There are ten or twenty knobs that we can twiddle to adjust the ranking formula. We are developing software to do this tuning automatically, but the current code just contains guesses. With a little tuning we should be able to get results that are competitive with those of major search engines."

Attract some more developers and I bet this happens sooner than later.

I've not played with Nutch but i understand it's easy enough to set up and get running so i may have to see if there's a Gentoo ebuild for it heh...

Google came under heavy fire recently for not giving back to the OS community when they owe so much of their success to it.

Last man Standing - More Yahoo / SixApart Talk

Thread Title: Should Yahoo Buy Six Apart? Thread Url: Thread Description:

Back in January we discussed Yahoo buying Six Apart, makers of MovableType, hosted blogging service TypePad and recent owners of LiveJournal.

Yahoo have recently launched blogging services on Yahoo! Japan and there has been some speculation on Yahoo providing blog search but as yet, there is no blogging service on the main Y! site.

So, Google have Blogger, ASK recently aquired Bloglines, MSN have Spaces and Yahoo have what?

Susan Kuchinskas at InternetNews raises the question yet again of Should Yahoo buy Six Apart?

There are a few reasons why Yahoo might want to add blog authoring to its own portfolio.

First, blogging tools might soon be seen as de rigueur for any serious player. Second, blogs can push traffic to the main search service. They also provide a cheap and nearly infinite source of fresh content. Finally, Six Apart's community of 6.5 million hosted blogs could help Yahoo's Overture advertising service extend its reach. - Lower than Expected Losses

It is reported that Lastminute dot com have "lower than expected losses"

Quote: Recent acquisitions have helped online travel agent to unveil lower-than-expected losses for the last three months of 2004.

Lastminute is now one of the dotcom boom's last survivors and struggling, I never could work out why the world was prepared to value it at around 800 million in the first place.

Profitability seems always to be "2 years from now", and never seems to materialise. They have consisently posted losses

However they have made several bricks and mortar acquisitions with funds, which makes them less reliant on the web.

I guess most of feel a bit aggrieved that we never made it to the stock market before the bubble burst!

Yahoo and the Nazi Court Battle

Thread Title: International law on the Net Thread Url: Thread Description:

Multiple sources are reporting that the Appeal Courts have agreed to rehear the long protracted battle about whether Yahoo (an American company) can be sued in France, for breeching French law.

From Associated Press

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said it would rehear some arguments in a 5-year-old lawsuit against Yahoo by two French human rights groups, which are trying to ban the sale of Nazi-related items on any Internet site viewable in France.

Personally I can not wait to see the outcome of this as it will help (or possible hinder) the age old question of "What laws are relevant for an internet business?"

The arguments are multiple, but Yahoo is definately breaking French law. The question is that Yahoo is a US based company that operates a site accessable in France. Does that mean it can be sued in France for something that is legal in the US?

Viagra Spammers get Kick in Nuts from MS & Pfizer

Thread Title: Giants to tackle Viagra spam ring Thread Url: Thread Description:

Sites selling illegal "generic viagra" are about to get a kick in nuts by a joint legal venture from Microsoft and Pfizer reports the BBC today:

The two are filing 17 parallel lawsuits against two "international pharmacy spam rings" selling what they claim are generic versions of Viagra online.

Pfizer said two websites named in the suit sold "potentially dangerous medications" unapproved by regulators.

The websites involved are CanadianPharmacy and E-Pharmacy Direct


Affiliates get Rough Ride - AM's could be Prosecuted

Thread Title: Shady Web of Affiliate Marketing Thread Url:,1848,66556,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_1 Thread Description:

Wired are giving affiliates a bit of a rough ride today:

Affiliate marketing, a system in which a business pays a commission to those who drive paying purchasers to its website, is responsible for much of the spam that clogs inboxes, search results contaminated with useless pages selling ring tones, and a never-ending barrage of pings and fake TrackBacks that have driven many bloggers to shut down comments on their sites.

and they go on to mention that CAN-SPAM can be used to prosecute AM's who allow affilates to UCE for customers

Not all programs police their affiliates so closely, though recent antispam lawsuits and enforcement actions may inspire companies that take a wink-and-nudge approach to affiliates to take a closer look. The worst offenders could find themselves on the wrong end of legal action being taken by AOL, EarthLink and the Federal Trade Commission.

The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 makes a company liable for junk e-mail sent on its behalf if it should have known of the spam or it took no reasonable action to police its affiliates.

The CAN-SPAM stuff is not new news of course but it's always interesting to see how the more mainstream media views both affilates and seo's.

The question is, in the media's eyes, who are the worst scum, afiiliates or SEO's?

EV1 has DNS issues?

I host a few servers with, the original budget dedicated server people, but one in particular is foo barred as I use it almost exclusively for email. It's a huge business issue for me as I can't send or receive any of them!

Are you with EV1 and are you affected by DNS problems at the moment and if so how do you take care of outages like this?

Is it time for low TTL and change your MX records on the slightest sniff of a problem or...... ?

Mobissimo Monetizing via Affiliate Programs

Thread Title: Thread Url: Thread Description:

Im not certain if this is new or not, maybe someone can confirm for me, but i just got IM'd to tell me that Tradedoubler and LinkShare cookies and affiliate ID's are being spotted in Mobissimo results and operations.

So, it was only a matter of time before they monetized but is this new or not?

Important bits from Googles Analysts Day

Thread Title: Google Discusses Strategy With Analysts Thread Url: Thread Description:

Well, if you weren't aware that Google held it's first 4hr long session for web analysts since the IPO yesterday then you are now - here's the important bits:

Schmidt says some Google services will require personal information from it's users 70% of Google time is spent on it's Search engine - you could have fooled me... BETA's could remain BETA's for up to 5yrs - Sheesh... Page avoided the questions when asked about VoIP, GBrowser and Google Registrar

There's interesting stuff to be read into all of that by my reckoning, particularly the "no comment" type answers given in the last point...

Google's Analyst Day?

If anyone has details, commentary or just a good link to details and commentary - presuming of course it's worth it - please post it as a thread or a blog...

I cant get to listen to the damn thing - really gotta buy that Mac Mini as a media center heh...

Cold Calling 101 - A few Tips

Thread Title: i'm Kinda Busy, Can You Send Me An Email? Thread Url: Thread Description:

This thread comes by way of Barry who it seems is talking about something entirely different to the actuall thread - pssst, barry, they're talking about cold calling prospects! Muhahahahah.... :-)

Some get it, some dont...

The thread title being "i'm Kinda Busy, Can You Send Me An Email?" some in the thread really don't get it, but a few do - im not gonna pick holes in individual responses but i will give you a few pointers for making cold calls.

Background I spent 10 or 12 years doing fairly hardcore sales in both the financial and advertising industries on all manner of deals ranging in ticket price from $10k to $500,000 but i've also done ittty bitty ones at $1000 or less - in the latter half of those years i trained and managed sales folks - just so you know this is from experience rather than opinion...

3 Important Donts for Cold Calling

Here's 3 grade A no-no's when cold calling a prospect - complete with the right way to do it of course..

Im busy, send me an email You've blown it, move on. This essentially translates to "your boring the shit out of me, get off my line"

Seriously, if your gonna call someone cold then you have a similar amount of time to the old page load thing - you gotta get their attention and their interest in the first 20secs or you're dead in the water. If the guy tells you to send an email, you are being told to fuck right off - and in 99.99% of cases, the last thing on earth he wants is for you to send him an email.

Give my secretary the details Pitching the secretary was a punishable crime in some of the places i worked - if i caught my boys and girls doing it they'd be out on their ear, simple as that. There is no bigger waste of everybody's time. Newbie sales folks will often rather pitch the secretary than the person with they should be talking to because it's much easier! and the seccy will listen patiently while they rattle off their spiel.

How much did Jeeves pay for Bloglines?

Thread Title: Engines are buying...but who's integrating? Thread Url: Thread Description:

Jupiters Gary Stein speculates over just how much Ask paid for Bloglines this week.

The short version: About $35-50 Million

Im glad to see someone agrees with me in that this is a good buy for Jeeves, i dont pretend to be any kind of analyst, but it feels right. Gary goes on to talk about all the aquisitions Google, Yahoo and Jeeves have made recently (i touched on this in: Puzzling the Google Direction by its Aquisitions) and how these things need to, and surely will be, strung together:

ut a collection is not that big of a deal, at least not to consumers. It sort of makes me think of a guy who buys a killer plasma television, a DVD player, surround sound and monster cables....and leaves everything is a separate room. What you want to see is to have that guy integrate it all together into one, great thing: a home theater where you can watch the Die Hard Trilogy.

When is this going to happen for the engines? Sometime soon, I think. They have to pull these assets together in some kind of meaningful way soon. And search is the perfect thread for them all to be strung together with. One single search should return a cluster of content.

We live in interesting time heh...

Yahoo & Godaddy Face Scrutiny over Unfair Practices

Thread Title: Underpriced Domain Names Thread Url: Thread Description:

ICANN sell domain names for $6 to their Registrars. Godaddy sell theirs at $3.99 and Yahoo! at $4.98 in special promotions - Yahoo's has been going on for quite some time now.

TechLawAdvisor raise the question of whether this breaks californian (or other state) law on unfair practices.

I think they ought to stfu as we all like cheap domain names heh..